Heng Thillen wanted to become a physicist or an engineer. “Even during the last year at high school, I wasn’t sure which path to take”, he remembers. Eventually, he decided to study engineering because “with a physics diploma I only could have become a teacher in Luxembourg and I didn’t want to that”. He never regretted his decision. After his studies in mechanical engineering in Karlsruhe, he was a “Young Graduate Trainee” at the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlands for one year before returning to Luxembourg.
He came to know the “Prix d’excellence” through the students’ organisation ANEIL and his flat mate in Karlsruhe who already had won the award with distinction a year earlier. “It’s great to see, that other people than our teachers appreciate our work”, comments Thillen on the meaning of the prize. He put the money aside. “It helped me a lot during my stay in the Netherlands.”